Day 31 – Only #Write31Days



What a great way to complete this journey of #Write31Days.


A one-of-a-kind.

The only one like it.


Only one key for one lock.

Only one verse in one song.

Only one rudder to steer the ship.

Only one heart to beat within.

Only one voice heard above the noise.

Only one light that shines in the darkest of days.

Only one answer for one question.

Only one North Star in the night’s sky.

Only one touch amidst the throngs of takers.

Only one purpose to drive the soul.

Only one direction to follow.

Only one passion to pursue.

Only one dream to dream.

Only one breath to breathe.

Only one.



Day 30 – Cut #Write31Days

31-days-impactI fell in love with a specific piece of music several years ago.  “Cinema Paradiso”, performed by world renowned trumpeter, Chris Botti and legend cellist, Yoyo Ma, moves me in a way few pieces of music do.  Soon after hearing the song, I discovered the movie of the same title, Cinema Paradiso.

In the film, a young and mischievous boy named Salvatore finds himself under the tutelage of the local Italian village’s cinema house projectionist, Alfredo.  The two forge a life-long, father-son relationship.  During his time of mentoring, Alfredo explains how the village’s church leadership censors every film, before it can be shown to the residents of the religiously devout Italian town.  Every scene depicting love in any way is removed.  An embrace, a kiss or a longing gaze.  All of it, cut and sent to the editing room floor.  The movies are shown for years without any of these coveted scenes.

Hearing of Alfredo’s passing, Salvatore returns to the village as a successful film maker, Upon his return, he discovers a treasure left for him by his dear Alfredo.  Meticulously spliced together in perfect composition is every piece of “forbidden” film CUT from the endless spools of celluloid into one, beautiful expression of love, fulfillment and satisfaction of the heart and soul.

So often, the greatest moments are a collage of clippings from the cutting floor of our life.


Day 29 – Date #Write31Days

31-days-impactI have a really good memory.  My sister, whom I adore, often says that she remembers most of our life growing up, because of my memories of us.  Recently, I received an envelope containing a note and a personal item.  A watch, actually.  My Dad’s watch.  This brought one specific date back to me at light speed.

February 4, 2015.

This is the date that my Dad (Carl, Zip, Bud, Granpda) left this earthly place.  I think of that date often and will never forget it.  Ever.

(The watch and the note came via US mail, from the VA Hospital where Dad passed away.  They were sorting through some personal items left behind and found Dad’s watch.)

I have so many vivid memories of that experience, of those final days, those last moments, that date in time.  Dad was…IS bigger than a free-write.  Perhaps a chapter one day.  Maybe even a book.  For now, he owns that date.  And the memories I cherish of it.

I love you, Dad!


Day 28 – Eat #Write31Days


I know few people who do not like to eat.  Very few.  Seriously, what is it about eating that is so satisfying?  Sure, the taste of food can be wonderful and the smell of a delicious meal cooking can often be the best thing, this side of heaven.  But the love of eating is more than that.  It’s often deeper than that.  It’s a manifestation of a craving.  A lust even.  The acting out of a seemingly uncontrollable urge.

Ok, before I get too deep into THAT thread, let me ease up, just a bit.  I love to eat cake!!

I love to eat a lot of things, but cake can often be one of those foods that grips me.  It should be noted here, that I only enjoy eating GOOD cake.  There is GOOD cake, and there is not-so-much.

So cake.  Yeah, I can sit over a 13×9 baking pan with a fork in my hand like I’m an olympic gold medalist in a marquee event.  I’ve got varying techniques of cutting into the cake with my fork and have often created different designs with the remaining edge of cake.  One time I even fashioned a fork-widthed maze through the cake.  Creativity knows NO bounds when it comes to cake!

My favorite flavor is golden cake with chocolate FUDGE frosting.  Emphasis on the fudge (not just chocolate). Please don’t pretend there isn’t a difference.  And if I have a gallon of ice cold milk at my side…look out!  But let’s not start in that vein.  That would take up at least another five minutes!

My least favorite is anything lemon cake.  Who thought this was even a good idea?? Oh, the silliness of some people.


Day 27 – Bouquet #Write31Days


Im not sure if I am unique (as a man) in this way or not, but I love a bouquet of flowers.  Not being a recipient of them, but simply enjoying them.  The smell of them, the sight of them, the beauty of them.

I think Wegmans does a great job with their floral department.  At least the one near me does.  Whenever I walk into the store, I take note of the bouquets of flowers all arranged appropriately and put together perfectly for the holiday of the month or season.

Several years ago I noticed the same woman working in the department often.  As it turns out, she is the floral department manager.  One day I felt I had to share my admiration for the great job she did within her domain.  Always meticulous, always beautiful and always perfectly-presented.

As I told her how much I appreciated the wonderful and thorough job she was doing, I could see a small tear form in the corner of her eye. She smiled and thanked me, sweetly.  After I finished my short soliloquy, I asked her if she was ok.  As she wiped the tears from her eyes, she explained that she always felt she gave her all to her job, but wondered if anyone paid attention or noticed.  She hugged me and thanked me for giving her job meaning.

What we do always matters!  Be the bouquet in someone’s day.


Day 26 – Confront #Write31Days

31-days-impactYesterday’s #Write31Days word was “blowout”.  And honestly, thinking about that word creates a bit of stress in me.  It reminds me of blowouts I have been a part of, and quite honestly, the idea of writing about confrontation (again), seems a bit internally unfair.

Instead, I’d like to look at confront as it pertains to us introspectively.  All of us have attributes and personality traits we know, need work and are certain others, feel, are not the most attractive things about us.  We must be able to confront those areas within ourselves.

The first question to ask is: What are those attributes and character traits?  Some may be obvious, others may require a bit more investigation.  Second:  How do we go about confronting and working through the solutions to those challenges?   I am not a psychologist or a licensed therapist, but I do feel I have a fairly decent picture of who I am and the issues I deal with.  I may not be happy about various parts of me and know they need work (some, more than others), but I have learned over the years to be honest with myself and identify those areas within to confront.

In my opinion, having a person or group of people in your life, whom you trust and who know you well, allowed access to you in a way that allow them to make suggestions and speak into your life, is an incredible asset to possess.  This is humbling, to say the least.  But, in my opinion, a very healthy way to begin the process of confronting the undesirables in my life.  (NOTE:  These are NOT people who simply know me causally or that are part of an organized discussion group.  I am speaking of tried and tested relationships.)

Ok, maybe this topic was NOT a five-minute write and perhaps I have barely scratched the surface of this subject…I’ve confronted that truth and am owning it!


Day 25 – Sign #Write31Days

31-days-impactFree write, huh??  Fine.

“I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign.”   Those lyrics by Ace of Base, is the first thing that popped into my head, when I thought of sign.

Now, what to do with that.

Presumably, signs are posted to inform us about something.  To warn us.  To direct us in some way, shape or fashion.  To go here and not there.  To make us happy or to tell us how we should behave, period.

There are signs EVERYWHERE!  They are inescapable.  Unless you find yourself in the vast expanse of wilderness in the Northern Territory of Canada or the Alaskan tundra (and even then, there are signs at their edge telling you not to litter), you are within eyeshot of a sign of some sort. BUT, how often do people actually read the signs?

Going back to the song lyrics.  “I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes…”  Unfortunately, many people’s eyes remain closed.  It has been my experience that many people rarely pay attention to signs.  Warnings, directional or otherwise.  They’d rather disturb someone and ask them the question.  They often prefer inquiring for directions over giving mind to the signs directing them to their destination.

Signs are a fact of life.  C’mon people, let’s read ’em!

“Honestly, officer, I didn’t see the sign…”


Day 24 – Global #Write31Days


Like, pretty much everyone, when I think global, I think BIG!  I think massive.  I envision huge.  I picture endless!

And yet, somehow, I don’t feel unable to make a global impact, even though I am much smaller (in and of myself) than anything considered to be global.  So how do we leave a noticeable piece of ourselves in this earth?  An impression on this generation?  A lasting fingerprint on this place?

I believe our legacy and lasting chorus begins with our very actions and words at a very local level.  It’s been rightly said, “Think globally, act locally”.  Our impression on people and our surroundings is directly connected to how we treat those around us.  To how we listen with an understanding ear and give ourselves whole-heartedly to a cause.

If we truly want to leave this place different (and presumably better) than when we came, we must adhere ourselves to the people in it.  We must endeavor to attach ourselves to a vision bigger than we and to see and celebrate good whenever possible.  Is this an easy task?  Sometimes.  So often, it’s just the opposite.  But, in every case, worth it.

You can change the world!


Day 23 – Blowout #Write31Days


When a retail store has a blowout, they’re trying to get rid of EVERYTHING!  They want to clean off the stock shelves that have been gathering dust and losing value for days, months, years even.  In the end, they’re may be some good stuff in there, but let’s face it, it didn’t sell for a reason and its now useless to them!

If a diaper-dressed baby has a blowout… Well, you get the idea.  Not a good scene!  Never.  Ever. Ever!

When we as people allow ourselves to pressurize so intensely inside, that a blowout ensues, look out!  Rarely, anything good ever comes from a blowout.  Stuff sitting on the shelves of our minds, hearts and souls, that has been gathering dirt and all things bad, goes flying out the door with reckless abandon.  The foul of our intellectual and emotional intestines releases in a seeming unclean-able fury!

When I think back to situations involving blowouts with another person, I honestly cannot think of one “good” thing that came from it.

Lessons learned?  Rarely.  Mistakes made?  Always.  Regrets?  Endless.

Messes and confrontations like that need to be avoided at all cost.  Perhaps we can find ways to communicate dissatisfaction in a healthy way at regular intervals, so the storeroom shelves become not-so-full.


Day 22 – Off #Write31Days

31-days-impactOff.  Such a small word with such big potential.

The opposite of ‘on’, its presence can darken a room, a building or an entire city!

The phrase, “off in another world.” has a negative vibe attached to it, as if going to another place (within your mind or an actual physical place) is such a bad thing.  A place where dreams are created, plans forged and yes, fantasies are lived out.

How bout, “off the beaten path.”?  Perhaps going the way no one else thought of IS, in fact, the best way to get to a desired destination.

I think “off on a tangent” gets a bad rap.  I believe that the journey of random and deeper conversation can lead to discoveries unrealized, rather than strictly adhering to the prescribed agenda.

The word, off itself, is inherently negative.  Contrary to good.  I think ‘off’, can be a very good thing, from time to time.

Well, thats it for now…I’m off!